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Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder: A Review of Neural and Cognitive Changes in Women with PMDD
University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Around 3-8% of all women in reproductive age suffer from premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) which disenables them to live an ordinary life during the luteal phase (premenstrual phase) of the menstrual cycle. Throughout the premenstrual phase these women experience emotional, cognitive and physiological changes. Hitherto, the etiology of this disorder is unknown. Some consider the source of this state as non-biological, claiming that PMDD is a social construction imbedded in gender roles, that suggests that women should not show aggressive behavior or depressive mood unless it is during the premenstrual stage. Contradictory, research made in cognitive neuroscience claim that the origin is biological. It is assumed that the increased symptoms in women with PMDD is a result from dysfunctional sensitivity for the progesterone metabolite allopregnanolone that has a receptor in the GABAA system, hence, producing an anxious effect from high levels of allopregnanolone instead of the expected sedative, soothing effects. Research suggest that structural and functional changes occur in brain areas such as the hippocampus, parahippocampus, amygdala, cerebellum as well as in brainderived neurotrophic factor which is important for brain plasticity, growth and survival of neurons. Cognitive behaviors such as anticipation for negative stimuli, working memory and lack of cognitive control also seem to be affected by PMDD. Nonetheless, the evidence is inconsistent, the area of research face multiple issues in regards to study designs, hence making generalization at this point difficult. In sum, this essay reviews recent studies conducted in neuroscience of cognitive changes in women with PMDD, with focus on functional, structural and behavioral changes between the phases of the cycle.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 51
Keywords [en]
PMDD, menstrual cycle, allopregnanolone, estrogen, progesterone, HPG-axis, cognition
National Category
Neurosciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-14302OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-14302DiVA, id: diva2:1155341
Subject / course
Cognitive Neuroscience
Educational program
Psychological Coach
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-11-08 Created: 2017-11-07 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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